Killing-the-Buddha

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
—  Gautama Buddha
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
—  ― Gautama Buddha
Buddhism Misconceptions

by Samsaran

  1. Buddhists have to be vegetarians. Not so. Buddhists are directed not to kill or order others to kill for them. The Buddha ate meat.
  2. Buddhists can’t defend themselves. No. Buddhists can use force to defend themselves or others and that includes deadly force.
  3. The Dalai Lama is the “Buddhist Pope”. No. The Dalai Lama is the head monk of one order of Tibetan Buddhism and not even the largest one. He is famous in the west as the result of his exile from Tibet after the Chinese takeover of his country.
  4. Buddhists have to be poor. No. While Buddhist monks live in poor communal communities there is no such restriction on lay Buddhists.
  5. Only monks and nuns can become enlightened. No. Any human being has the potential for enlightenment. This is “Buddha Nature”.
  6. Buddhists cannot have sex. Monks and nuns are celibate. Lay people can have all the sex they want. If this were not the case there would soon be no more Buddhists.
  7. White people can’t be Buddhists. Nonsense. Buddhism started in India and moved into places like China and Japan just as Christianity started in the Middle East and moved into Europe.
  8. Buddhism is one religion. Nope. Buddhism is even more fragmented and diverse than Christianity or Islam. Even within a single nation such as Japan there are many different Buddhist traditions.
  9. Buddha is worshiped as a God. Buddhism is diverse and even within each tradition there exist differing levels of understanding. A shopkeeper may not meditate or study the suttas but may light incense or make offerings to a statue much the same way a Catholic might light a candle to the Virgin Mary.
  10. Buddhists are atheists. No. Buddhism does not recognize a single personal God like Christians or Muslims. The truth is that a Buddhist can believe in one god, many gods or no gods.  It is irrelevant to the practice of Buddhism.
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
—  Gautama Buddha
Buddhism Misconceptions
— 

by Samsaran

  1. Buddhists have to be vegetarians. Not so. Buddhists are directed not to kill or order others to kill for them. The Buddha ate meat.
  2. Buddhists can’t defend themselves. No. Buddhists can use force to defend themselves or others and that includes deadly force.
  3. The Dalai Lama is the “Buddhist Pope”. No. The Dalai Lama is the head monk of one order of Tibetan Buddhism and not even the largest one. He is famous in the west as the result of his exile from Tibet after the Chinese takeover of his country.
  4. Buddhists have to be poor. No. While Buddhist monks live in poor communal communities there is no such restriction on lay Buddhists.
  5. Only monks and nuns can become enlightened. No. Any human being has the potential for enlightenment. This is “Buddha Nature”.
  6. Buddhists cannot have sex. Monks and nuns are celibate. Lay people can have all the sex they want. If this were not the case there would soon be no more Buddhists.
  7. White people can’t be Buddhists. Nonsense. Buddhism started in India and moved into places like China and Japan just as Christianity started in the Middle East and moved into Europe.
  8. Buddhism is one religion. Nope. Buddhism is even more fragmented and diverse than Christianity or Islam. Even within a single nation such as Japan there are many different Buddhist traditions.
  9. Buddha is worshiped as a God. Buddhism is diverse and even within each tradition there exist differing levels of understanding. A shopkeeper may not meditate or study the suttas but may light incense or make offerings to a statue much the same way a Catholic might light a candle to the Virgin Mary.
  10. Buddhists are atheists. No. Buddhism does not recognize a single personal God like Christians or Muslims. The truth is that a Buddhist can believe in one god, many gods or no gods.  It is irrelevant to the practice of Buddhism.
killingthebuddha.com
Religious Baggage < Killing the Buddha

<p>An excerpt from Ashley’s new e-book <em><a href=“http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OS8LSLK”>You Were Strangers: Dispatches from Exile</a></em> </p> A religion magazine for people made anxious by churches

A beautiful, beautiful essay by my high school friend Ashley Makar, who is one of my favorite writers on religion, exile, and also cancer. (Ashley has been living with metastatic cancer since 2012.)

Ashley’s book, which is as consistently excellent as this essay, can be found here.

Ashley and I recently had a >1 hour conversation about faith, religious experience, death, writing, and other stuff, which can be downloaded here.

Since I said something yesterday about James Agee, and since there’s something in the works for closer to when the book comes out where I’ll be sharing some corner of a bar or bookstore with someone also reading and writing about him – well, since that’s been happening I thought I’d point you to something she’s written. It starts like this:

It is that clarity of mystery, that precision of blank—gesturing to certain immensities—that astounds me about James Agee’s peculiar use of colons. The epigraph to that American modernist’s “Description of Elysium” captured my attention as the sun went down on this past National Punctuation Day:

There: far, friends: ours: dear dominion:

From Ashley Makar’s “This is All One Colon,” Killing the Buddha, November 27, 2009